August 3, 2012

State of Alabama
Press Release: Alabama Department of Commerce

Alabama's Top Corporations and Entrepreneurs Convene for the State's Largest Minority Business Conference

Contact:  Bryna Reid                                                           
(205) 957-1883 (Business Connections General Information)
(205) 394-5055 (Bryna’s Cell for Media Only)                                                                                                    

South Region Minority Supplier Development Council

The South Region Minority Supplier Development Council Gears Up for its 29TH
Annual Business Connections Conference 

Birmingham, AL – The 29th Annual Business Connections Conference & Expo, sponsored by Motion Industries, will bring hundreds of minority entrepreneurs, corporate purchasing professionals and corporate executives together on August 14-15 in Birmingham, Alabama at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. As the largest minority procurement conference in the state of Alabama, hosted by the South Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC), Business Connections is designed to provide top corporations and Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) in Alabama, Mississippi and the pan-handle of Florida with a platform to collaborate through entrepreneurship and supply chain excellence. This is where big contract opportunities often begin for Alabama’s top minority-owned companies.
“Our conference theme, Powerful Business Alliances – The New Normal, really speaks to the caliber of people involved in the program,” says SRMSDC President and CEO, Chris Lewis, “We will have state legislators, top corporate CEOs and proven minority owned business executives building relationships for and with one another.”
 The two day event will feature the following:
               ·         SRMSDC Golf Classic – An executive golf tournament hosted by Wells Fargo, ARD Logistics and
            Regions Bank at Oxmoor Valley Golf Course. Our Golf Classic provides funds to support advanced
            management education for SRMSDC-certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) executives at the Tuck
            School of Business and Kellogg School of Management. More than 150 people played in the tournament
            last year.
               ·         Opening Reception – a dynamic “Greetings from Magic City” welcome at one of Birmingham’s most
            elegant and historic venues, The Tutwiler Hotel, hosted by the Birmingham Water Works Board.
·         Town Hall Meetings providing a focused look at current trends impacting corporate supply chains and minority-owned businesses in Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery, with expert speakers from the public policy, finance, environmental compliance, state and federal agency, high technology and industrial sectors. Includes Navigating the New Normal, Connecting the Dots and a Corporate Executive Roundtable Discussion and Marketing to NASA Contractors.
               ·         MBE Showcase Luncheon – attendees dine-in and discuss as top “Contract
            Ready”  businesses share the  inner-workings of their thriving enterprises.
      Business Connections Conference & Business Opportunities Tradeshow – a business-2-business tradeshow with nearly 75 corporate, government and minority business exhibitors.
      MBDA Business Center MatchMaker - a session offering brief one-on-one meetings with corporate buyers and MBEs seeking to do business with minority entrepreneurs.

      Crystal Awards - an annual awards program recognizing minority business executives and corporations for business excellence and supplier diversity performance. Business awards include MBE Suppliers of the Year, Corporation of the Year, CEO of the Year, Buyer of the Year and more, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz U.S. International and Hyundai USA.
The 2012 event boasts an impressive lineup of local, regional and nationally recognized supplier diversity leaders representing a diverse range of local, state and national corporations and governmental entities including:
·         SRMSDC – Chris Lewis, President and CEO
·         U.S. Small Business Administration – Cassius Butts, Regional Administrator
·         State of Alabama House of Representatives – Representative Oliver Robinson
·         State of Alabama House of Representatives – Representative Rod Scott
·         City of Birmingham – The Honorable William Bell, Mayor
·         Mobile Chamber of Commerce – Michael Pierce, Chairman of the Board
·         Diversified Supply – Dan Anderson, President and CEO
·         AirGo USA, LLC – Ron Washington, President and CEO
·         Marshall Space Flight Center – David Brock and Debbie Baston, Program Directors
·         NASA –Todd May, Program Manager of Space Launch System
·         Alabama Power Company – Alice Gordon, Manager of Supplier Diversity
Top sponsors of the event are Motion Industries, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International and Hyundai. Other major sponsors include: Alabama Power Company, ARD Logistics, AT&T, BBVA Compass, Birmingham Water Works Board, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, City of Birmingham, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Johnson Controls, Regions Bank, The University of Alabama, Thyssenkrupp, Toyota Motor Engineering &Manufacturing North America, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Verizon Wireless, Volkswagen of America and Wells Fargo.
For more information and to register, call our Business Connections Hotline at (205) 957-1883 or visit our website at                                                      
ABOUT SRMSDC: Established in 1983, the South Region Minority Supplier Development Council (SRMSDC) is an affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).  The SRMSDC’s mission is to facilitate relationships between corporations, educational, governmental and health care entities and certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs.)

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